Anybody who’s ever taken a college Psych 101 course knows what behavior modification is.
The rat in the Skinner box gets to choose between two levers. If pressing one delivers a food pellet, and pressing the other delivers a mild electric shock, you don’t need a Ph.D. to hypothesize how the story is going to turn out.
A few years ago, the airlines started charging extra for checked-in luggage.
The bright-eyed junior exec who dreamed up that revenue stream evidently didn’t take Psych 101, because the obvious consequence was that everybody learned to cram as much as they possibly could into carry-on roller bags that sometimes, but not always, fit in the overhead bins.
Those that didn’t fit were checked at the scene without charge, so the rat/passengers learned they could get away with stuffing in a little extra. Meanwhile, stowing the extra bags ate up precious minutes while exasperated flight attendants shoved, sweated and cursed. Flights got delayed.
So the replacement junior exec⎯who clearly has studied psychology⎯wins a gold star for killing two birds with one stone: Rig the Skinner box levers so they both deliver an electric shock, and generate even more revenue by penalizing those who think they can’t travel without at least a toothbrush and a change of underwear. Bra-VO, future Spirit CEO.
Coming soon: dehydrated clothing.